Headers and Footers are single lines of text that appear above or below the pages of a book. They help give readers a reference point regarding sections and chapters.
Headers are displayed 0.125” (3.1mm) above the content of a book. If your book has chapter titles, they would be listed on the right (recto) side of the page spread, with the author or editor name listed on the left (verso). When using Microsoft Word to create your page layout, we recommend a header measurement of 0.5” for the 5.5” x 8.5” page size, or 0.75” for the 8.5” x 11” page size. If you're unsure which size is right for your book, you can read more information on Choosing a Page Size.
Page Numbers can be listed with your header as well, aligned towards the outer edges of the book.
Headers do not appear on blank pages or pages that begin with a heading. Headers are rarely used in image-centric children’s books or art books.
Footers are more sparse in displaying information. Reference books may include alphabetical or topic information here, but most books will only use the footer for displaying page numbers. In this case, the page numbers would be centered on the page and displayed 0.125” (3.1mm) below the content. As with the header, we recommend a footer measurement of 0.5” for the 5.5” x 8.5” page size, or 0.75” for the 8.5” x 11” page size when setting up your pages in Microsoft Word.
Footnotes should not be placed in the footer area of a page. Instead, they should appear above the footer in the content area. Footers do not appear on blank pages.
Headers and Footers should be 15% to 20% smaller than the text as they are not meant to be read on every page. They need to be large enough to read, yet small enough to not be confused as the text content of the book.
Small uppercase lettering is good for page headers. It gives enough emphasis to distinguish between headers and content, and allows the lettering to be both small and legible.